You are eligible to participate in the University of Kentucky's Matching Retirement Savings Plan if you are a regular full-time employee of the University. Your participation is mandatory unless you are under age 30 or if you are a federal civil service or federal employee.

Enrollment in the basic retirement plan must be done within the first 30 days of regular full-time service or the attainment of age 30. Beginning January 1, 2012, if you do not enroll, you will be automatically enrolled through a default enrollment on day 31 and your contributions will be made to TIAA's Lifecycle Index Fund.

We encourage emplyees under age 30 to participate; however, it is not mandatory until your 30th birthday. 


The University of Kentucky's Matching Retirement Savings Plan is designed to help you save and invest for your retirement.

  • You will contribute the required amount - 5% of your base salary - on a pre-tax basis.

  • The University will contribute 10% of your base salary, a generous 200% match.

  • You pay no federal, state, and in some cases, city tax on these amounts, until you begin receiving income from the Plan.

  • To contribute on a tax-deferred basis, you must enter into a Salary Reduction Agreement with the University.

  • The total amount you may tax-defer is limited by the Internal Revenue Code.

How It Works

The Plan offers two immediate advantages to participants:

  • Your contributions are set aside from your paycheck before taxes are withheld

    • so you lower the amount of taxable income on your W-2, enjoying a tax break today while you save for tomorrow.

  • You are not taxed on contributions or investment earnings while those dollars remain in your plan account

    • that account is not taxed until it is paid out.

Because contributions and investment earnings grow tax-sheltered, your savings grow and compound more quickly than in a bank savings account. Because retirement investment earnings compound on a tax-free basis, it is to your advantage to join the University's retirement plan as soon as you are eligible.


Online Enrollment OR Paper Enrollment Form


The University Retirement Plan offers two carriers from which to choose for investing your savings:

You may choose to invest among several investment options with both carriers.

  • If hired on July 1, 2015, or after:

  • If hired prior to July 1, 2015 and enrolled in the plan, you may invest in Tiers 1 and 2 as well as all Fidelity and TIAA funds offered on their platforms. It is important to note that Tier 3 funds will not be monitored by the Retirement Plan Committee, whereas Tiers 1 and 2 investments are reviewed on a quarterly basis.


Employees hired on or after January 1, 2010, will be subject to a three-year vesting on the University’s contributions to the Plan. This means that your right to retirement income benefits provided as a match by the University cannot be revoked after three years of service.

Beneficiary Appointment and Changes

All beneficiary appointments and changes must be made through the Retirement carrier(s) of your choosing. The University does not make any changes or updates to your beneficiaries for your Retirement Plan. You may make changes through your online account on the carrier website, or by contacting the carrier by phone.